Resilient Communities of Practices network creates space for multidisciplinary collaboration and knowledge exchange
The European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU), consisting of 14 universities, is one of the alliances included in the European Universities initiative.
To support the research and innovation agenda and facilitate international challenge-based research, interdisciplinary communities of researchers and stakeholders across the ECIU University network collaborate to address societal challenges in the five thematic areas of energy and sustainability, circular economy, transport and mobility, resilient communities and citizen science. Each community is led by a research field coordinator, and they promote networking, benchmarking best practices, finding partners and developing joint funding applications.
At Tampere University, Raúl Castano De la Rosa leads the Resilient Communities of Practices network. The community provides accessible and low-threshold support to its members through, for example:
- an open space for discussion and knowledge exchange, e.g., webinars, seminars, workshops
- space for communication and the dissemination of information, e.g., webinars, blog posts
- individual support tailored to one’s needs
- providing a connection to other international colleagues and stakeholders within and without the ECIU University community.
Developing resilience in the built environment and our society requires interdisciplinary work
Castano De la Rosa – and the ASUTUT research group – has been working on the topic of resilience in the past few years. He emphasises our need of a radical transformation of the existing built environment and the way we live and think about resilience.
“Resilience is not only about technology and engineering – we cannot just ‘engineer’ our way out of the current challenges. We need an inclusive and just transition to make sure no-one is left behind and that our society has basic tools and resources to persist in the face of difficulties”, Castano De la Rosa says.
To address societal challenges, it is essential to have an open mind, societal debate and knowledge exchange at different levels: among citizens, researchers, industry and policy-makers.
“Our community is open to anyone working on creating a better, more inclusive and resilient society. We provide a discussion space where all stakeholders are part of the co-creation process to ensure fully meeting their needs”, Castano De la Rosa says.
ECIU University enables support and knowledge exchange at different levels
As part of the ECIU University community, Resilient Communities of Practices is open to support and collaborate with every discipline in the way they need, providing connections and collaboration opportunities at the European level.
“If you are interested in collaborating with colleagues at other universities in the same field or you need advice from a different perspective, our network is happy to help,” Castano De la Rosa says.
He encourages early career researchers to join the Resilient Communities of Practices network where they can find funding opportunities, research exchange openings, colleagues working on the same topics and for the same purposes, or future possibilities within the ECIU University community.
Members of Resilient Communities of Practices find that this role and basic support has been missing from the Tampere University community. Further support and commitment from the University to its staff and students is essential because someone working on this on top of their other duties is not enough.
Castano De la Rosa concludes by highlighting that supporting each other is one of the key values promoted in the community and the ASUTUT research group.
“In my opinion, our role as academics is to create an environment where our University community – in particular early career researchers – and society can thrive and be happy. We cannot be healthy and do well in an unhealthy or broken environment” Castano De la Rosa emphasises.